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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Warriors snatch lead in dramatic opener

Cavaliers blow chance of glory in regulation time

Cleveland's JR Smith turns away from the net with seconds left in regulation time
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Golden State are taking on Cleveland in the NBA finals for the fourth season in succession but the opening game of the series was anything but boring.

The Warriors, champions in 2015 and 2017, snatched the advantage in the seven-match series with a 124-114 overtime victory, leaving the Cavaliers, top dogs in 2016, to rue two key decisions late in regulation time.

First a penalty originally called against Golden State was controversially reviewed and reversed to penalise LeBron James of Cleveland.

Then, with the scores tied and seconds left, Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith bizarrely dribbled away from the net instead of shooting, apparently thinking his team were ahead, although he later claimed he expected a timeout to be called.

James scored 51 points despite ending up on the losing side and is 9-1 third favourite to be named MVP of the series even though bookmakers expect his side to lose.

The Warriors are 1-16 to win the title and 2-1 for a clean sweep going into Game Two, which is again in California.

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James scored 51 points despite ending up on the losing side
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